Monday, March 1, 2021

Valerie and Her Week of Wonder

Greetings, commies!

Spring is around the corner, and all sorts of "awakenings" are in store for us. If you are up for an artsy, sexy European flick that pulls no punches, consider Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, a 1970 masterpiece of the Czechoslovak New Wave movement. The film portrays the heroine as living in a disorienting dream, cajoled by priests, vampires, and men and women alike. The film blends elements of the fantasy and horror film genres.

My thoughts:

If you are fans of Kurt Russell's over the top, dreamlike, hallucinatory, gorgeous films, you must add "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders" to the list. If you are familiar with the historical and political nuances behind Czech cinematography of the 1960s and 70s, you will enjoy the movie on a different level. But if you are just watching it as a straight up psychedelic fantasy, you will still appreciate it. You will pick up on the plot elements from "Little Red Riding Hood": a pubescent young woman with a rather complicated, potentially sinister relationship to her maternal relatives, predatory males, heroic rescuer figures. The film depicts that sexual awakening in a woman is not just about having attraction to a boy. It also contains an element of violence. It's not just about consummating with the boy next door - sometimes it's about setting the whole village on fire. 

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